Know the Laws:
UPDATED May 21, 2013
If you are a non-U.S. citizen living outside of the U.S. and you are afraid to return to your home country due to a fear of persecution (mistreatment/abuse), you might be eligible for refugee status, which would allow you to come to the U.S. legally.
Refugee status may be granted to someone who:
You have to apply for refugee status before coming to the U.S. If you are already in the U.S., you would apply for asylum instead. Go to our Asylum page for more information.
You must receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for consideration as a refugee. For more information on the referral criteria, see the “USRAP Consultations and Worldwide Processing Priorities” on the USCIS website. If you receive a referral, you will receive help filling out your application and then be interviewed abroad by a USCIS officer who will determine whether or not you are eligible for refugee resettlement in the U.S.*
* See the USCIS website